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HISTORY

A little more than ten years ago, a mountain climber and a fisherman realized they had a lot more in common than a disdain for wearing a suit to work.

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, were also passionate environmentalists that happened to be running successful businesses. More important, they understood it was good business to protect the natural resources that kept them in business.

Founded in 2002, 1% for the Planet has grown into a global movement of more than 1200 member companies in 48 countries, all donating at least 1% of annual sales to sustainability initiatives.

In just over 10 years 1% for the Planet companies have given more than $100 million back to Blue.

 

Based on their own business models, the two men hatch a plan to encourage more businesses to donate 1% of sales to environmental groups. Yvon calls it an “Earth Tax.” Craig calls it 1% for the Planet. They go with Craig’s idea.
1% FTP holds an official launch event at the Patagonia store in San Francisco, California. Twenty-one businesses, including a winery, a coffee company and a guide service sign up as members. Not bad for the first day.
A second launch event takes place at the Fly Fishing Retailer show in Denver, Colorado, engaging an industry that understands the connection between business and the environment like few others. Several more members are, um, reeled in.
Membership grows steadily by word of mouth, primarily on the West Coast of the United States and in outdoor industry circles. Jack Johnson, in conjunction with his music and film companies, Brushfire Records and The Moonshine Conspiracy, becomes the 50th member of 1% FTP.
Jack releases In Between Dreams, displaying the 1% FTP logo on the back of the CD jacket. Yvon authors the book Let My People Go Surfing, which culminates in the story of 1% FTP. The publicity contributes to the signing of two to three new member companies per week, closing the year at over 200.
1% FTP goes prime time as NBC Nightly News features the organization in its Making a Difference series. In partnership with the Charture Institute, the first official 1% FTP local chapter is launched: 1% for the Tetons, in Jackson, Wyoming. The chapter adds 50 members within months.
To boost consumer involvement, the 1% FTP logo and website gain a new look and new features. Media partners sign on to support our first major print campaign. Fast Company calls 1% of sales the “gold standard” of corporate philanthropy. More than one new member company joins every day and total donations approach $30 million USD.
Despite a trembling financial market, 1% FTP adds more new member companies than in any other year. The organization’s headquarters move to a new home in the aptly named Green Mountains of Vermont and 1% FTP sets its sights on a lofty goal: to become one of the largest funders of environmental work anywhere.
We celebrate our 1,000 member milestone, and several international news outlets feature the movement for the first time. The movement grows online through a new generation of marketing initiatives. Membership growth continues at a rate of more than one new company a day and includes some of our largest members to date. More than $15 million flows from our member companies to the cause of sustainability. Total giving since 2002 surpasses $50 million.
Our digital music album, 1% for the Planet, The Music, Vol. 1, is released and hits #1 on Amazon’s MP3 chart and top-40 overall albums on iTunes. The album features 40 groundbreaking artists, many of them members, who donated rare and exclusive music to the cause. We embark on a new decade with more than 1,200 members in 38 countries.
1% FTP builds an Ambassador program of artists, athletes and activists who live the model in their daily lives. Continued growth in the Media Partner program–including rock stars like Outside Magazine–fuel more than 100 million media impressions per year.
1% FTP’s global network surpasses $100 million in total giving to environmental preservation! But there’s little time to rest–the organization embarks on a new focus on “High Impact Partnerships”–enabling businesses and NGOs in the network to identify issues where they share concern and collaborate to do more together than they can alone.

 

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